US 6747593 B1 Abstract A system and method for controlling clutter Doppler spread in a bistatic radar system is developed resulting in enhanced detection of low-Doppler targets or improved SAR mode performance. In an illustrative embodiment, a bistatic radar system (
10) includes a transmitter (12) for transmitting electromagnetic energy (106) towards a target (16), a receiver (14) adapted to receive the electromagnetic energy (116) reflected from the target (16), and a processor (122) for optimizing a parameter or parameters of the system such that the directional derivative of the bistatic Doppler field along the isorange contour is near a desired value. The parameters to be optimized may include the transmitter velocity vector, the receiver velocity vector, or the receiver azimuth flight direction. The desired value is the minimal absolute value of the directional derivative in order to minimize the clutter Doppler spread, or the maximum absolute value of the directional derivative in order to maximize the clutter Doppler spread.Claims(26) 1. A bistatic radar system comprising:
a transmitter for directing electromagnetic energy toward a target, said transmitter having a velocity vector v
_{T}; a receiver adapted to receive said electromagnetic energy reflected from said target, said receiver having a velocity vector v
_{R}; and means for optimizing a parameter of said transmitter and/or said receiver such that a directional derivative J of a bistatic Doppler field along an isorange contour is near a desired value.
2. The invention of
_{T}.3. The invention of
_{R}.4. The invention of
5. The invention of
6. The invention of
7. The invention of
8. The invention of
9. The invention of
_{D }and the unit tangent vector to the isorange contour at the target point {right arrow over (T)}_{u}.10. The invention of
_{D }is computed from the equation: where {right arrow over (TP)}
_{u }and {right arrow over (RP)}_{u }are the unit line-of-sight vectors from the transmitter and receiver to the target point, respectively, R_{1 }and R_{2 }are the distances from the transmitter and receiver to the target point, respectively, and λ is the wavelength of the electromagnetic energy.11. The invention of
_{u }is computed by forming the equation of the isorange contour, differentiating to yield the slope, and normalizing.12. The invention of
^{2}+by^{2}+2cxy+dx+ey+f=0, where a, b, c, d, e, and f are coefficients obtained from the given transmitter-receiver-target geometry.13. The invention of
14. A bistatic radar system comprising:
a transmitter for directing electromagnetic energy toward a target, said transmitter having a velocity vector v
_{T}; a receiver adapted to receive said electromagnetic energy reflected from said target, said receiver having a velocity vector v
_{R}; a processor for computing an optimal motion of said transmitter and/or said receiver such that a directional derivative J of a bistatic Doppler field along an isorange contour is near a desired value; and
a system for controlling the motion of said transmitter and/or said receiver based on said optimal motion.
15. A method for controlling the clutter Doppler spread of a bistatic radar system including the steps of:
computing the directional derivative J of the bistatic Doppler field along the isorange contour as a function of a parameter or parameters to be optimized and
determining the value or values of said parameter(s) which yield a desired directional derivative.
16. The invention of
17. The invention of
18. The invention of
19. The invention of
_{T}.20. The invention of
_{R}.21. The invention of
22. The invention of
23. The invention of
_{D }and the unit tangent vector to the isorange contour at the target point {right arrow over (T)}_{u}.24. The invention of
_{D }is computed from the equation: where {right arrow over (TP)}
_{u }and {right arrow over (RP)}_{u }are the unit line-of-sight vectors from the transmitter and receiver to the target point, respectively, R_{1 }and R_{2 }are the distances from the transmitter and receiver to the target point, respectively, and λ is the wavelength of the electromagnetic energy.25. The invention of
_{u }is computed by forming the equation of the isorange contour, differentiating to yield the slope, and normalizing.26. The invention of
^{2}+by^{2}+2cxy+dx+ey+f=0, where a, b, c, d, e, and f are coefficients obtained from the given transmitter-receiver-target geometry.Description 1. Field of the Invention The present invention relates to radar systems. More specifically, the present invention relates to bistatic radar systems. 2. Description of the Related Art In a monostatic radar system, the transmitter and the receiver are co-located. In a bistatic radar architecture, the transmitter and receiver are substantially separated. In addition, both the transmitter and the receiver may be mounted on either fixed or moving platforms. Bistatic radar is therefore distinguished from monostatic radar where the transmitter and receiver are mounted on the same platform and move together. When the transmitter and/or the receiver is in motion, the reflected signal will be Doppler frequency shifted as a function of relative motions and positions of the transmitter and receiver and the position of the target. In effect, the motions and positions of the transmitter and receiver paint the landscape with a spatial Doppler frequency gradient. If the target is also in motion, its reflected signal will have an additional Doppler shift dependent on the target's velocity vector. With conventional airborne monostatic radar systems, it is often difficult to detect “slow moving” targets (targets which generate low Doppler shifts) in surface clutter due to the clutter Doppler spread resulting from the varying Doppler shifts of the terrain illuminated by the radar transmit beam. This can mask the target return if its Doppler shift is within the mainbeam clutter Doppler spread (the clutter Doppler shift over a range cell). For monostatic radar systems, the clutter Doppler spread depends on the motion of the radar platform relative to the transmit look direction. This motion is usually fixed due to system constraints and is not free to be optimized. For bistatic radar systems, however, the clutter Doppler spread is due to the combined motion of both the transmitter and receiver which are mounted on separate platforms. Because the motions of the transmitter and receiver are independent, they are free to be optimized in order to control the bistatic clutter Doppler spread. This process is known as “clutter tuning.” According to conventional analysis, when the motion of the receiver is in the opposite direction to that of the transmitter, the receiver's Doppler frequency shift for a particular terrain object, situated equidistant from the transmitter and receiver, partially or completely cancels the transmitter's Doppler shift. This cancellation condenses the clutter Doppler spectrum into a narrowed frequency spectrum, while a moving target's Doppler frequency offset remains nearly the same with respect to the terrain center frequency. The returns from relatively slow moving targets may therefore be found outside the clutter spectrum and may become highly observable. Thus, by suitably opposed motions of the transmitter and receiver for the foregoing restricted scenario, a bistatic radar system can become much more effective at detecting slowly moving targets than an equivalent monostatic radar wherein slow moving targets are lost in clutter. The practical problem is how to oppose the motion of the transmitter and receiver so as to achieve substantial clutter condensation, when the target location relative to the transmitter and receiver is not constrained in any manner. One widely accepted method of flying the transmitter and receiver is to have them both on the same side of the target, but flying in opposite directions (e.g. one clockwise and the other counterclockwise). This solution gives good range resolution, but it reduces the duration of continuous observation of a given target area since the aircraft rapidly fly out of the region where standard analysis predicts good performance for detecting moving targets. Thus, while bistatic radar provides a theoretically interesting class of solutions to the problem of detecting targets which are moving slowly with respect to surface clutter, heretofore these bistatic solutions have not been considered to be more than of passing interest because they are too constraining to be applied in practice. The conventional criterion requiring equal and opposite transmitter and receiver velocities is valid only for a particular transmitter-receiver-target geometry, is unduly restrictive on the motion of the receiver and is generally incapable of being satisfied in practical radar systems. Hence, a need exists in the art for an improved system or method for detecting low Doppler targets which is capable of greater operational flexibility than prior art methods. The need in the art is addressed by the system and method for controlling clutter Doppler spread in a bistatic radar system of the present invention, resulting in enhanced detection of low-Doppler targets in clutter or improved SAR (synthetic aperture radar) performance. In an illustrative embodiment, a bistatic radar system includes a transmitter for transmitting electromagnetic energy toward a target, a receiver adapted to receive the electromagnetic energy reflected from the target, and a processor for optimizing a parameter or parameters of the system such that the directional derivative of the bistatic Doppler field along the isorange contour is near a desired value. The parameters to be optimized may include the transmitter velocity vector, the receiver velocity vector, or the receiver azimuth flight direction. The desired value is the minimal absolute value of the directional derivative in order to minimize the clutter Doppler spread, or the maximum absolute value of the directional derivative in order to maximize the clutter Doppler spread. FIG. 1 is a diagram showing a transmitter-receiver-target geometry for an illustrative embodiment of a bistatic radar system implemented in accordance with the teachings of the present invention. FIG. 2 is a graph illustrating the concept of clutter tuning for a GMTI (Ground Moving Target Indication) application. FIG. 3 is a simplified block diagram of an illustrative embodiment of a bistatic radar system implemented in accordance with the teachings of the present invention. FIG. 4 is a flow diagram of an illustrative embodiment of a clutter tuning algorithm implemented in accordance with the teachings of the present invention. FIG. 5 is a graph of the directional derivative J as a function of receiver flight direction θ for a computer simulated example. FIG. 6 is a magnified view of the graph of FIG. 5 near the minima. FIG. 7 is a graph showing the transmitter-receiver-target geometry and the isorange ellipse for the example of FIGS. 5 and 6. FIG. 8 is a graph showing the bistatic isodoppler contours superimposed on the isorange ellipse of FIG. FIG. 9 is a magnified view of the graph of FIG. 8 near the vicinity of the target. Illustrative embodiments and exemplary applications will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings to disclose the advantageous teachings of the present invention. While the present invention is described herein with reference to illustrative embodiments for particular applications, it should be understood that the invention is not limited thereto. Those having ordinary skill in the art and access to the teachings provided herein will recognize additional modifications, applications, and embodiments within the scope thereof and additional fields in which the present invention would be of significant utility. FIG. 1 is a diagram showing a transmitter-receiver-target geometry for an illustrative embodiment of a bistatic radar system implemented in accordance with the teachings of the present invention. The bistatic radar system FIG. 2 is a graph illustrating the concept of clutter tuning for a GMTI (Ground Moving Target Indication) application. Without clutter tuning, the Doppler frequency shift of a moving target The condition for minimizing clutter Doppler spread according to conventional analysis is given by: As mentioned above, this condition is unduly restrictive on the motion of the receiver and is generally incapable of being satisfied in practical radar systems. Furthermore, this equation was derived under the assumption that the transmitter and receiver velocity vectors are orthogonal to their corresponding line-of-sight vectors to the target point. This simplification made the analysis easy, but it also created a blind spot in the analytical approach which has, here, been overcome. In order to provide a foundation for illustrative embodiments, it is essential that some new theoretical ideas be introduced. A simplified exposition provides the key ideas. Consider the scenario depicted in FIG. where the dot denotes the dot product of vectors, {right arrow over (TP)} All points which lie within the main lobe of the transmit beam and the receive beam generate different Doppler shifts. The total of these Doppler shifts is the mainlobe Doppler spread. Computing the Doppler gradient vector gives the rate of change of the Doppler shift with respect to the position of the target point. The Doppler spatial gradient vector ∇f The first term inside the curly brackets of Eqn. 4 represents the velocity vector of the transmitter with the component along the line-of-sight direction {right arrow over (TP)} Note that application of the conventional assumption that the transmitter and receiver velocity vectors are orthogonal to their corresponding line-of-sight vectors to the target point (by substituting v Setting this expression to zero (minimizing the Doppler spread) results in the conventional “counter-rotation” condition of Eqn. 1. The method described here, on the other hand, starts with the general expression for the Doppler gradient given by Eqn. 4. Furthermore, it is recognized that the clutter Doppler spread in a range cell depends not just on the Doppler gradient vector, but rather on its component tangential to the bistatic range contour (which is an ellipse if a local flat earth approximation is used). This assumes that the Doppler variation normal to the range contour is very small compared to the tangential variation, which is most often the case since the “thickness” of the range cell, for commonly used waveform bandwidths, is small in comparison with the mainlobe range extent. Consequently, the magnitude of the component of the Doppler gradient along the bistatic range contour at the target point P should be minimized in order to minimize clutter Doppler spread. This component is also called the directional derivative of the bistatic Doppler field. The method of the present invention optimizes the transmitter and/or receiver motions so as to make the Doppler gradient as close to being normal to the isorange contour so that the Doppler directional derivative along the tangent is close to zero. This is the optimum condition for minimizing the clutter Doppler spread and enhancing the detection of slow-moving targets whose Doppler shifts will now tend to fall outside the mainlobe reduced clutter Doppler spread (GMTI processing). This method can also be used for improving bistatic SAR (synthetic aperture radar) performance by determining the optimal transmitter and receiver motions that maximize the clutter Doppler spread in a range cell. This occurs when the Doppler gradient along the tangent to the isorange contour is maximized. The following is an illustrative method for computing the Doppler directional derivative along the isorange contour. Other methods may be used to compute the directional derivative without departing from the scope of the present teachings. The bistatic isorange contour on the local flat earth is a representation of the condition R
whose coefficients (a, b, c, d, e, and f) are obtained from the given transmitter-receiver-target geometry. Differentiating Eqn. 6 with respect to x yields the slope of the isorange tangent vector at (x,y), and normalizing obtains the unit tangent vector {right arrow over (T)}
For most applications, the transmitter motion v
where |v FIG. 3 is a simplified block diagram of an illustrative embodiment of a bistatic radar system The return beam In the illustrative embodiment of FIG. 3, the receiver motion is the parameter to be optimized by the clutter tuning algorithm. Alternate embodiments maybe designed which optimize the transmitter motion, or both the transmitter and receiver motion, without departing from the scope of the present teachings. FIG. 4 is a flow diagram of an illustrative embodiment of a clutter tuning algorithm At Step At Step At Step At Step As mentioned above, for most practical applications, only the receiver flight azimuth direction θ is to be varied while the speed and altitude are maintained constant. For this case, the minima and maxima of the directional derivative can be determined explicitly. Substituting Eqn. 8 into Eqn. 7 results in a function of a single variable θ. The directional derivative can then be computed for various values of θ, and the minima and maxima explicitly found. FIG. 5 is a graph of the directional derivative J as a function of receiver flight direction θ for a computer simulated example. FIG. 6 is a magnified view of the graph of FIG. 5 near the minima. As can be seen in FIG. 6, there are two minima at about 206 and 215 degrees which result in near zero directional derivatives. FIG. 5 also shows that if, due to practical constraints, these “optimal” directions are not feasible, there exists a range of receiver directions around these minima for which the directional derivative is less than some preset amount. For instance, for a directional derivative of less than 15 Hz/km, the optimal receiver flight directions are from 134 degrees to 286 degrees. The optimum condition for SAR imaging is obtained as the receiver direction that maximizes the directional derivative which occurs at about 30 degrees in this example. FIG. 7 is a graph showing the transmitter-receiver-target geometry and the isorange ellipse for the example of FIGS. 5 and 6. The receiver velocity vector shown is the optimal one as determined by the method described here (215 degrees counter-clockwise from the positive y-axis). Note that the isorange ellipse has a certain thickness representing range cell. This thickness has been exaggerated for illustrative purposes. FIG. 8 is a graph showing the bistatic isodoppler contours superimposed on the isorange ellipse of FIG. Thus, the present invention has been described herein with reference to a particular embodiment for a particular application. Those having ordinary skill in the art and access to the present teachings will recognize additional modifications, applications and embodiments within the scope thereof It is therefore intended by the appended claims to cover any and all such applications, modifications and embodiments within the scope of the present invention. Accordingly, Patent Citations
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